The Rabbit Whole

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Restoration of the Goddess

Jamie Perrelet
Schumacher College
2013

Forward
Grasping the nature of life is like catching a whirling eddy in a stream: the moment you have it in your hands it disappears and leaves you with the matter but not the form.” – Brian Goodwin [1]

How does one share the mystical experience of wholeness, without killing the spirit of it in the process?

Beyond the kingdom of words there exists a vast realm of symbols, myths and archetypes; who stir the deep ocean of the psyche and speak directly with our ancestor.

There is a thinking in primordial images, in symbols which are older than the historical man, which are inborn in him from the earliest times, eternally living, outlasting all generations, still make up the groundwork of the human psyche. It is only possible to live the fullest life when we are in harmony with these symbols; wisdom is a return to them.” – Carl Jung [2]

I have composed this literature to offer a fertile context to the sacred art piece behind this discourse. Whilst I can only hope these words will illuminate the journey, the drawing that supports it speaks a truths that can never be written.

A Syncro-mystic voyage into the eternal-ineffable-paradox…

The Journey Begins

The tarot is an information-meaning system of images, created to reflect the archetypal patterns experienced through being-in-the-world. The cards of the tarot are meaningfully connected and together they form a bridge to the unconscious, the realm of symbol. The tarot is akin to a hall of mirrors; each card reflecting an archetypal form, beckoning to be activated by the psyche. Through the process of divination ‘to be inspired by the divine’ the cards may be ‘randomly’ constellated to illustrate a landscape of meaning. In this way, I consider divination to be a synchronistic arrangement, acausally connected through meaning, rather than the known laws of physics.

Over the past two years I have been visioning and developing a deck of tarot personally tuned to the narrative of my life; a journey that is allowing me to more gracefully commune with many inner unindividuate aspects. Studying the tarot is an ongoing path of transformation which may presence itself at any moment. Investigating how various other information systems may communicate with the tarot has been a founding inspiration behind my deck; specifically the periodic table of elements has been of interest. The process is simple; match the atomic numbers of the first 21 elements to the corresponding cards in the major arcana and observe for parallels.

Working through the elements of the periodic table, a clear correlation quickly emerges. The first element is Hydrogen, fuel of the solar fires, which is equated with the first card, the magician; a decidedly phallic archetype. Some of the correspondences are stronger than others, however I was absolutely startled upon reaching element fifteen: Phosphorus, which relates to the fifteenth tarot card, The Devil. Phosphorous is a non-metallic element, essential for life and in its tetrahedral molecular arrangement (white phosphorous) it emits a faint glow. Hence its Greek name ‘Φωσφόρος’, meaning “light-bearer”, literally translating into Latin as “Lucifer”.

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Now in the Tarot there is a hermaphroditic figure called the diable [the Devil card]. That would be in alchemy the gold. In other words, such an attempt as the union of opposites appears to the Christian mentality as devilish, something evil which is not allowed, something belonging to black magic.” – Carl Jung [3]

On one hand I am holding card fifteen, the Devil and in the other the fifteenth element in the period table, Lucifer. Lucifer appears in the Book of Isaiah 14:12 “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!” [4] The passage depicts the image of the morning star, fallen from the sky, written in the context of a dead king of Babylon. The identity of the unnamed king is disputed, however it is clear that Isiah is referring to a human man, not a god or angel. [5]

During the Second Temple Period (530 BC – 70 AD), approximately the time between the writing of the Hebrew bible and the New Testament, pre-Christian pseudepigrapha became popular. Misinterpreting Isaiah’s reference of the morning star, these falsely attributed texts gave Satan an expanded role as a fallen angel cast out of Heaven for refusing to bow to Adam. [6] Early Christians began to develop an association with Isaiah, Lucifer and the Devil, however even as late as 430 AD the name Lucifer had still not become popularly synonymous with the Devil.

Lucifer, the morning star, refers to the Planet Venus which, following an orbit closer to the sun than that of Earth, never appears to venture far from the solar giant. Venus reaches maximum brightness either shortly before sunrise or shortly after sunset, henceforth it has been referred to by ancient cultures as the morning and evening star. The Greeks knew the planet as Aphrodite or Cytherea, after their Goddess of love, beauty, sexual pleasures and fertility. The Romans, who derived much of their pantheon from the Greek tradition, gave the name of their corresponding love Goddess, Venus.

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I will sing of stately Aphrodite, gold-crowned and beautiful, whose dominion is the walled cities of all sea-set Cyprus. There the moist breath of the western wind wafted her over the waves of the loud-moaning sea in soft foam, and there the gold-filleted Hours welcomed her joyously. They clothed her with heavenly garments: on her head they put a fine, well-wrought crown of gold, and in her pierced ears they hung ornaments of orichalc and precious gold, and adorned her with golden necklaces over her soft neck and snow-white breasts, jewels which the gold-filleted Hours wear themselves whenever they go to their father’s house to join the lovely dances of the gods. And when they had fully decked her, they brought her to the gods, who welcomed her when they saw her, giving her their hands. Each one of them prayed that he might lead her home to be his wedded wife, so greatly were they amazed at the beauty of violet-crowned Cytherea (Aphrodite).” – Homer, 1st millennium BC. [7]

Prior to the ancient Greek Hellenistic period the planet Venus was thought to be two separate bodies, the morning and evening star. The Ancient Greeks knew them as Phosphoros and Eosphoros, the Ancient Egyptians as Tioumoutiri and Ouaiti. Despite this duality, within ancient Mesopotamian culture there was an earlier understanding of unity; the Babylonians recognised the two to be a single entity. The Venus tablet of Ammisaduqa, dated 1581 BC, is a Babylonian record of astronomical observations, carefully detailing the rising and setting of Venus on the horizon over a period of 21 years in the form of Lunar dates. [8] It is unknown how this knowledge was lost, however it is clear that we should not underestimate the capabilities of Babylonian civilization.

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Map showing the extent of ancient Mesopotamia.

Ancient Mesopotamia, compromised of the Sumerian, Akkaddian, Babylonian and Assyrian empires, is widely considered to be the “cradle of civilization”. The advanced cultures of Mesopotamia seeded literature, mathematics, astronomy, medicine and many advanced technologies still present today. To exemplify, the 60 minute hour and 360 degrees of the circle are innovations of the Mesopotamian sexagesimal, base 60, system. [9]

With the development of agriculture, widespread irrigation spread across the region around 5,000 BC, making it possible for large populations to thrive. If we are to imagine ancient Mesopotamia, we must leave our modern image of a desert middle-east behind. In its place a bountiful landscape must be painted; a rich and diverse scene of vineyards, flowers, cornfields, fruit trees and animals. The land was alive and fertile, abundant in water and wildlife; the hanging gardens of Babylon.

The Great Goddess: Inanna-Ishtar

Mythological narratives evolve significantly through time, thus it is necessary to glance back to the roots of the Mesopotamian civilization to unveil the depths of this story. At least as early as 3500 BC, The Babylonians knew the planet Venus as the great Goddess Ishtar, who is the counter part of the Sumerian Goddess Inanna. Inanna-Ishtar is considered to be the most prominent female deity in ancient Mesopotamia, with temples and shrines dedicated to her across the region. Like Isis, Venus and Aphrodite, Inanna is Goddess of fertility, love, grain, sexual pleasures and heavenly light. Simultaneously Inanna is also Goddess of death, war and storms, as highlighted in the works Enheduanna, who is the oldest known author and who was herself a Sumerian high priestess:

Lady of all the divine powers, resplendent light, righteous woman clothed in radiance, beloved of An and Urac! Mistress of heaven, with the great pectoral jewels, who loves the good headdress befitting the office of en priestess, who has seized all seven of its divine powers! My lady, you are the guardian of the great divine powers! You have taken up the divine powers, you have hung the divine powers from your hand. You have gathered up the divine powers, you have clasped the divine powers to your breast. Like a dragon you have deposited venom on the foreign lands. When like Iskur you roar at the earth, no vegetation can stand up to you. As a flood descending upon … those foreign lands, powerful one of heaven and earth, you are their Inanna.” – Enheduanna, 3rd millennium BC. [10]
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‘Queen of the Night Relief’, terracotta plaque with Inanna-Ishtar.

It is not possible to grasp Inanna’s paradoxical nature through the black and white lens of patriarchal perception. Inanna is the embodiment of the ever-flowing divine feminine; the ever-emanating regeneration that lies beyond the divorce of life and death. As with mother Gaia and Hindu Goddess Kali; expressions of the divine feminine manifest in all forms; from the gentle caress of her sweet lips, to the swiftness of a fierce hurricane. In this context nouns are no longer appropriate as there is no-‘thing’ static here, a more honouring description of Inanna-Ishtar might be:

“I am not the beginning, but I live in a small room near there.
I wake to light each moment.
I find the cracks and sing daily expansion songs to their sleeping ambitions.
What I know is alive, what I know is green and fearless and unmapped.
Shedding protective layers, so light can breed life.
Carried in bird beaks. On insect wings. In the labyrinths of wind.
Any earth is home and worth knowing.
I love best any hands that cradle me sacred.
I love equally the wild scatter and the even rows.
I sing equally the sowing song, the reaping song and the song of perfect rain.
I am the joyful offering to any true need and when I am done being seed, I will laugh.
Rename myself the World and go on singing this offering song”

– ‘Eve Ladyapples’, 2012. [11]

Preserved in the Cuneiform scriptures, the various aspects of Inanna appear with many names,: ‘Queen of Heaven and Earth’, ‘Priestess of Heaven’, ‘Light of the World’, ‘Morning & Evening Star’, ‘First Daughter of the Moon’, ‘Loud Thundering Storm’, ‘Righteous Judge’, ‘Forgiver of Sins’, ‘Holy Shepherdess’, ‘Hierodule of Heaven’, ‘Opener of the Womb’, ‘Framer of all Decrees’, ‘The Amazement of the Land’, ‘The Green One’. [12] The spirit of Inanna’s is bountiful in the eternal-ineffable-paradox that presences itself alongside any depiction of wholeness.

Unlike other purely transcendental illustrations of Gods and Goddess, celestial Inanna maintains a distinctly terrestrial personality. Inanna is depicted with a number of human lovers including various Sumerian kings and her great son-lover, Dumuzi-Tammuz. In several myths we meet Inanna expressing a human character, she is the first God or Goddess we know of who suffers as though she were a person and is thus able articulate the human condition. She is also profoundly connected to the netherworld, a cyclic journey recorded in the epic of her ‘Decent into the Underworld’. During her decent she is detained by her cruel sister, the personified of her inner shadow, with whom she must find resolution. Inanna’s domain encompasses all three dimensions of Sumerian religion; Heaven, Earth and Underworld. She presents us with an archetypal pattern of wholeness far beyond the purely maternal motif; she is at once mother, harlot, bride and sister.

Decent to the Underworld
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Abandoning her seven cities of worship, Inanna gathers the seven divine powers and prepares herself to make the journey from which ‘no traveller returns’ Approaching the palace Ganzer, entrance to the netherworld, Inanna arrives aggressively demands at the gate to the underworld “Open up, doorman, open up. Open up, Neti, open up. I am all alone and I want to come in”. Neti, chief doorman to the underworld, asks “How did you set your heart on the road whose traveller never returns?” Inanna explains that the husband of her elder sister Ereshkigal, ‘great lady the underworld’, has died and she wishes to attend his funeral rites. Neti asks Inanna to wait while he speaks with his mistress, Inanna’s sister – Ereshkigal “My mistress, there is a lone girl outside. It is Inanna, your sister, and she has arrived at the palace Ganzer… She has abandoned E-ana and has descended to the underworld… She has collected the divine powers”. Ereshkigal bites her lip and gives Neti a series of instructions, “Let the seven gates of the underworld be bolted. Then let each door of the palace Ganzer be opened separately. As for her, after she has entered, and crouched down and had her clothes removed, they will be carried away”. Neti returns to Inanna and opens the first gate, “Come on, Inanna, enter” and as she passes the gate he removes Inanna’s headdress. In protest she asks “What is this?”, Neti replies “Be satisfied, Inanna, a divine power of the underworld has been fulfilled. Inanna, you must not open your mouth against the rites of the underworld.” Passing through all seven gates, she is sequentially stripped of her lapis-lazuli jewellery, egg-shaped beads, pectoral, golden ring, measuring rod and pala dress, the garment of ladyship. Inanna, naked and bare of the seven divine powers, takes seat on her elder sister’s throne where the seven judges of the underworld descend upon her with the ‘look of death’. With speech of anger, the judges render their decision upon Inanna, turning her into a corpse and hanging her body on a hook. After three days and three nights, Nincubura, Inanna’s highest priestess minister ‘who speaks fair words’ comes to Inanna’s rescue. Announcing the laws of the underworld, Ereshkigal demands Inanna must choose another to take her place if she is to leave. Followed by seven demons Inanna chooses to offer her great lover Dumuzi to the underworld; fulfilling the great symbolic sacrifice. [13]

Drawing reference to Inanna’s death, three days of darkness and resurrection, the lunar connotations in this narrative are clear. Beyond the heavenly spheres and seasons, however, there appears to be a second and more profound meaning folded into this story. As discussed by Joseph Campbell, Inanna’s story follows the archetypal journey of a psychological descent into the underworld of the unconscious. [14] In the opening scene, Inanna abandons her temples and with it she leaves behind both heaven and earth, along with her status and power. Inanna must summon the courage to surrender her entire identity in order to reach the shadowy depths of her inner world. Akin to the seven chakras, she passes through the seven vaults of the unconscious; vulnerable and naked, she exposes herself to her own inner truth. Ereshkigal, queen of the underworld, may be seen as Inanna’s inner neglected shadow; yearning for healing, she is the unloved, unindividuated and abandoned aspect of her being. Nincubura, who is in complete service to the goddess, is Inanna’s inner high priestess; the voice of wisdom, truth and knowing within us all.

It is worth noting the significance of the number seven, so predominate in this story; a persistent meme that recurs throughout cultural history. The seven heaves of Hebrew literature, the seven hells of Naraka in Jainism, the seven upper worlds of Hinduism and the dance of the seven veils of Christianity. There are countless other cultural references to the number, such as those appearing in the Book of Revelation, which overflows with the motif; seven seals, the seven churches, the seven bowl judgements, the seven trumpets among many others. Perhaps most significantly, as will be illustrated in the proceeding section, the seven heads of the ocean Beast described in Revelation, who given its power by the biblical serpent-dragon being. [4]

The Slaying of the Goddess

Pre-Sumerian Mesopotamia was home to the Al ‘Ubaid people, who arrived sometime during the sixth millennium BC with their mother-goddess worshiping culture. The origins of the Sumerian people remain a mystery as their language is neither of Semitic or Indo-European decent, nevertheless by the forth millennium BC Sumerian culture was flourishing in southern Mesopotamia. A number of Semitic cities existed further to the North who largely accepting the supremacy of their Southerly neighbours, however inner Mesopotamian peace broke down in c. 1750 BC under rule Hammurabi, king of Babylon. The Northern cities seized Sumerian territory and Hammurabi’s followers came to be known as the Babylonians, who translated Sumerian literature, mythology and technology into their own. The transition from coexistence to war rippled throughout Mesopotamia and in c. 1100 BC Assyria unleashed destruction upon her neighbours ‘like a wolf on the fold’. Over the millennia Mesopotamia was invaded from all directions, Aryan tribes with their devastating horse drawn war chariots came from the North, Syrians from the West and Arabs from the South.

Each tribe bought with them their own mythology and traditions; contributing their own deities to the Sumerian pantheon. A rise in patriarchal customs is clearly reflected in the escalating dominance of powerful god’s, most notably Enlil, lord of wind and breathe. Unto around 2400 BC it appears that women shared an equal social and economic standing to men in Sumerian culture, however thereafter Aryan influences became prominent. The overlapping traditions created two layers of mythology; an older one where the goddess is primary and newer one where the god begins to dominate. During this period, Ki, mother of Enlil and goddess of the Earth was depreciated to the position of Enlil’s sister. Onwards the rising dominion bestowed upon Enlil steadily eclipsed the other creator gods and goddesses, shedding them of their authority. Progressively Inanna’s status and domain are eroded, swallowed by the overarching supremacy of the patriarch. [12]

Mythology is woven together with parallel threads, archetypal storylines shared between a wide variety of cultures, such accounts include ‘the flood myth’, ‘the hero’s journey’ among others. The story of a dragon or serpent and a slayer is known as the Chaoskampf motif, ‘the struggle against chaos’ and is most easily recognised today through its late incarnation as ‘Saint George and the Dragon’. Chaoskampf emerged across the globe through Egyptian, Germanic, Vedic, Persian, Slavic, Hebrew and many others cultures; each manifestation baring its own individual characteristics. The creation narrative follows a cultural hero deity, normally a storm-hero, who battles with primordial chaos, the fertile waters of the abyss embodied as a serpent or dragon.

Babylonian myth has such a story, the great battle of ocean-goddess Tiamat and storm-god Marduk, the Enlil of Babylon. Ultimately, like all chaos monsters, Tiamat is an expression of the wild and unruly nature of the divine feminine and Marduk is the system that must control it. Fear of chaos is a common symptom within patriarchal society, a quality expressed today in our labelling of psychological complexes as ‘dis-orders’.

Marduk is offered the ultimate reward for his conquest, should he defeat Tiamat, he is promised the position of head God among the pantheon. Yielding his weapons, Marduk departs for battle on his storm-chariot drawn by four horses, each with poison in its mouth. Summoning the four winds, he traps Tiamat in his net and in retaliation she attempts to swallow him, but he sends the Imhullu wind into her mouth, blowing her up. Next, Marduk draws his bow and pierces Tiamat’s belly and heart, before straddling her dead body in victory.

In the decisive moment of Marduk’s fatal blow, in the instant Saint Georg’s blade courses through the dragon, the great mother is banished and a supreme ruling patriarch is born. The lunar cycle of regeneration is broken, the bios and zoe are divorced and with it our relationship with wholeness wanes and perishes.

The Abomination of the Goddess
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Ancient Sumerians celebrated their worship in stepped megalithic temples called Ziggurats. Crowned with the crescent horns of moon and bull, the Ziggurat is the primordial cosmic mountain, merging the three dimensions; Heaven, Earth and Underworld. The summit of the Ziggurat is a bridge between the visible and invisible, Heaven and Earth, it is the Axis Mundi. As earthly priests and priestess ascend, heavenly gods and goddess descend, marking the celebration of the sacred marriage. Like the Palaeolithic cave, the hollow sanctuary within the temple is both womb and tomb, the underworld, the heart of the mystery of regeneration. Many temples and shrines were dedicated to Inanna along the two great rivers of Mesopotamia, the Tigris and the Euphrates. Her temples housed high priestesses of the goddess, the most impressive of which being the ‘House of Heaven’ in the city of Uruk. Among her worshippers and priestesses were the ‘gala’; androgynous priests given the responsibility of singing “heart-soothing laments” to the goddess. [15]

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Reconstruction of a Mesopotamian ziggurat.

Goddess of sensual love and fertility, ‘Hierodule of Heaven’ and ‘Courtesan of the Gods’, Inanna-Ishtar is a profoundly sexual being. Sexual ceremonies, sex rites and sacred prostitution were regularly practiced in her temples, however the fragmented and sexually wounded lens of modern culture is deficient in recognising the divinity of this work. To the ancient Mesopotamians, sex and childbirth were highly sacred practices whereby nature’s invisible forces merge, granting the divine energy of the goddess to breathe life to light.

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“My vulva, the horn,
The Boat of Heaven,
Is full of eagerness like the young moon.
My untilled land lies fallow.
As for me, Inanna,
Who will plow my vulva?
Who will plow my high field?
Who will plow my wet ground?”

– The Song of Inanna and Dumuzi, c. 3000 BC.

Inanna’s title as the virgin is not referring to a physical condition, rather it is her inner union; the perpetual miracle of fertility and creativity. Through the temple’s priestesses and galas, Inanna’s worshippers receive the ecstatic experience, bestowing unto them the goddess’s gift of life in all its erotic sensuality. The mystery of fertility, the sacred work, has been renegaded to a dusty corner of the modern psyche where it yearns for sexual healing. Ishtar proclaims: “I turn the male to the female. I am she who adorneth the male for the female; I am she who adorneth the female for the male.” Like the sexual practices of Taoism and Tantra, Ishtar is referring to a state of wholeness beyond description.

The full extent of sexual wounding that emerged in the traditions following the worship of the goddess are clearly depicted in the Book of Revelation. The ‘Whore of Babylon’ is associated with both the antichrist and the seven-headed Beast of Revelation. The identity of the idolatress remains in dispute, however it is a short stretch of the imagination to realise that “Babylon the Great, the Mother of Prostitutes and Abominations of the Earth” “with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication” [4], could easily be a reference to the great goddess of Babylon, Ishtar.

Queen of Heaven
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Unpacified by light pollution, the people of Mesopotamia were graced each night by a spectacular display of light in all its glory. As the constellations wheeled through the heavens, celestial spheres danced against a deep silky-black setting torn open by the brilliance of the Milky Way. Like all people of Earth, the Sumerians and Babylonians were fascinated by the night sky and as they peered through the great mirror of the above they reflected upon the mystery of the terrestrial cycles below.

Personifying the zodiac, Ishtar is frequently depicted with a circle of star around; indeed the zodiac was known as ‘Ishtar’s Girdle’. Inanna-Ishtar’s heavenly presence was the morning and evening star; the planet Venus. With an inferior orbit, closer to the sun than Earth’s, Venus never stays far from the solar father. For this reason Venus can only be seen just before sunrise as the morning star or just after sunset as the evening star. [16] For 245 consecutive days Venus is visible as the morning star, after which her apparent position in the sky becomes too close to the sun, disappearing for 78 days. On the 79th day she is reborn as the evening star where she shines for a further 247 days, before once again disappearing behind the sun for 14 days, thereafter revitalising herself as the morning star. The planet Venus is actually in a near perfect 13:8 orbital resonance with the Earth, meaning that 13 Venus years are almost exactly 8 Earth years. Like a gigantic spirograph, plotting the path of Venus from an observer travelling with the Earth reveals a geometric pattern of astounding beauty.

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The path of Venus through the Heavens about the Earth, the ‘Rose of Venus’ drawn by Sir Isaac Newton.

Could the Babylonians have known about such a pattern? Quite possibly. Suppose the rising zodiacal position of either the morning or evening star are recorded on the day of its return from the sun. After five iterations of this process exactly 8 years will have passed on Earth and a near-perfect pentagram emerges by simply connecting the five points chronologically. Whether this was identified by the ancients is unknown, however as seen in the Venus tablet of Ammisaduqa, we do know they took great care in mapping the rising and setting times of the planet.

As a side note, it is worth drawing attention to the highly significant geometrical relationships embedded within the pentagram. The pentagram’s four edge sections are all perfectly in proportion to one another via the golden ratio, a feature that has captivating many great minds through the ages. Furthermore, the numbers associated with the Venus-Earth orbital resonance (5, 8, and 13) are consecutive Fibonacci numbers, emphasising the path towards the golden ratio.

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The five-pointed pentagram, the eight-pointed star of Ishtar and the crescent moon & star.

The first known uses of the pentagram are found in Sumerian scriptures, dating to around 3000 BC, making this thesis all the more plausible. The Sumerian and Babylonian symbol for Venus was the ‘star of Ishtar’, the eight pointed star, which draws a parallel to the Venus’ 8 year cycle about the Earth. Interestingly, the origins of the ‘Star and Crescent’ of the Middle East trace back to the Mesopotamian triad of celestial emblems; the crescent Moon of Nanna, the star of Venus / Inanna and the absent sun disk of Utu. [17] In this famous pictogram the star of Venus is actually depicted with five points, the pentagram.

Following the path of the pentagram through the ages offers much insight, for example early in the first millennium a pentagonal temple to Roman Venus was erected in Baalback, Lebanon. It is also worth noting the geometric parallel between the star and the five petals of the wild rose, which so frequently symbolises love, eroticism and beauty. [18] The connotations onwards are clear and like the Nazi swastika, the meaning behind the symbol undergoes a swift reversal. During the middle ages the pentagram became a protective sign to ward off evil spirits and thereafter a symbol synonymous with dark-magic and Satanism.

Goddess of War
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As previously suggested, life and death were not separate to the early Sumerians; they were a perfect unity woven together with the perpetual cycle of fertility. The patriarchal domination of Mesopotamia swept away much of Inanna’s responsibility of eternal regeneration, leaving her fragmented; a wild goddess of war and destruction. As war had become a way of life for heroes and kings amidst the unrest of the Iron Age, they summon her distorted identity into battle as the ultimate war god. A truth that becomes fatefully clear as Ishtar speaks to Esarhaddon, King of Assyria “I am Ishtar of Arbela. I will flay your enemies and present them to you”.

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Military symbols baring the five-pointed star. A: US Army insignia. B: Communist ‘Red Cross’. C: Soviet ‘Gold Star’ awarded to recipients of the title ‘Hero’. D: The ‘Medal of Honor’, the highest military honour in the US. Below: A display of current national air-force insignia: Vietnam, United States, Suriname, Somali, Russia, Morocco, N. Korea, Indonesia, Guinea Bissau, Guatemala, Djibouti, Cuba, Congo, Columbia, Chile, Central African Rep and Brazil.

To this day the five pointed star is paraded into conflict by the nations of the world as a symbol and insignia for the great military powers of the globe. The most recent abuses of Inanna in the line of war have unfolded since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, when US forces built a military base ‘Camp Alpha’, who’s facilities among others included a helipad, directly on ancient Babylonian ruins. John Curtis, keeper of the Middle East collections at the British Museum writes:

“[The occupation forces] caused substantial damage to the Ishtar Gate, one of the most famous monuments from antiquity […] US military vehicles crushed 2,600-year-old brick pavements, archaeological fragments were scattered across the site, more than 12 trenches were driven into ancient deposits and military earth-moving projects contaminated the site for future generations of scientists […] Add to all that the damage caused to nine of the moulded brick figures of dragons in the Ishtar Gate by soldiers trying to remove the bricks from the wall.” [19]

Summary

Witnessed in the contemporary portrayal of the feminine through characters such as Mary; the patriarchal religions preceding the ancients were clearly successful in subduing the unreserved spirit of the divine feminine. Through such a fragmented lens, it is apparent that Inanna’ epic descent into the underworld could easily be passed into the ‘fallen angel’ narrative, redefining her as an acquaintance of the antichrist. Further, it would follow that her true identity would become masked with wicked iconography, such as the ‘Whore of Babylon’ found in the Hebrew bible. The total abomination of the goddess is fulfilled in the Middle Ages when Astarte, the Canaanite cognate of Inanna-Ishtar is renamed Astaroth, the ‘Crowned Prince of Hell’. Star, lion, owl and beyond; there is no doubt that Inanna’s sacred symbology has been abused, distorted and exploited through the ages.

Whether or not the lineage of symbology laid out in this thesis, underwent a series of alterations through a direct casual connection is open to debate. On an archetypal level however, it is almost impossible to ignore the recurring storyline that courses through every aspect of the goddess’ history.

The more the known and unknown, light and dark phases of life are split apart and associated with good and evil, the more terrifying the dimension beyond death becomes, and the more demonic is the activity of its rulers and emissaries. The ultimate legacy of this fear is reached in the Hebrew Lilith and the Christian image of hell and the devil.” – Jules Cashford, 1991
Restoration of an Image
Queen of Paradox, Jamie Perrelet © 2013
When the soul wishes to experience something, she throws an image of the experience out before her and enters into her own image.” – Meister Eckhart, c. 1300
grid
The Grid

Behind this work rests a grid of intention. A vertical series of seven circles lay the foundations for the seven vaults of mystery; the seven gates, the seven chakras. Upon these circles stands the central pillar of the Kabbalistic tree of life; the huluppu tree, axis mundus, bridge between the planes of consciousness. A great circle surrounds the upper stages of the sacred tree of life, a conduit for the great cyclic enigma.

Symbol of universal impermanence, the inevitable fate of all things; two skulls rest in an ocean of terminated Amethyst crystals. ‘Having a golden cup’ ‘The Holy Grail … of pure Amethyst’ ‘she holds aloft the cup, the Holy Grail aflame with life and death”. Central, the dance of Hesperus and Lucifer, the great passage of Inanna, the sacred pentagram. Everywhere, the eternal lake of fire and brimstone; flames of regeneration, ashes of creation.

Water, milk, semen, the ever e-motioning, every flowing primordial waters of the abyss; ‘All-Dewy-One’, we honour your rains. ‘The fire burns up the water; the water extinguishes the fire’. Guardians of veils, lions of courage, lions of power, bare the duty of the grail and hitch onto you her chariot to the star. Helix of creation and genetic blueprint of vitality, the crystalline Caduceus of Divine-Nurturing-Ascension, Inanna’s staff of two serpents; ascend from the great below with the conduit of Kundalini, the spirit of Ningishzida. Womb & tomb of the eternal ineffable paradox, “The central water, the bride, the chameleon from chaos”; the ancient flower of life. Of solid copper, Ankh, Crux Ansata, the eternal of key of life and the ever fertile mark of Venus, take flight upon the wings of Isis.

Rising Shamash with Tioumoutiri and setting with Ouaiti, eight rays upon each, eight years of the great passage; sacred star of Ishtar. Abreast with heavenly adornments of lapis lazuli, the zodiac as your girdle, radiate your celestial beauty with the perpetual cycle of Nanna. Your crown, lotus of Isis, lotus of transformation; horns of the sacred bull, Lunar and Venus. Lilith, Babalon, “Screech owl”, goddess of erotic wisdom, reveal the path beyond “La petite mort”. Through Karaindash, the divine ‘House of Heaven’, as above, so below; making offerings we celebrate your sacred grain; your perpetual gift of fertility; the eternal-ineffable-paradox.

How do you catch a beautiful bird without killing it?
….By becoming the sky”
– Antero Alli, 1991.
Bibliography

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2. C. G. Jung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul, Harcourt Harvest, 1933.
3. C. G. Jung, Visions: Notes of the Seminar given 1930-1934, Routledge, 1976.
4. King James Version, 1611.
5. J. C. Laney, Answers to Tough Questions from Every Book of the Bible, Kregel, 1997.
6. A. e. Berlin, The Oxford Dictionary of the Jewish Religion, 2011: Oxford University Press.
7. Homer, Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite, c. 1st millennium BC.
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10. Enheduanna, “Nin-me-sara, “The Exaltation of Inanna”,” c. 3rd millennium BC.
11. B. ‘Eve Ladyapples’, Composer, Becoming the Seed. [Sound Recording]. 2012.
12. J. Cashford, The Myth of the Goddess: Evolution of an Image, Penguin Books, 1991.
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14. J. Campbell, “The Hero with a Thousand Faces,” Princeton University Press, 2004, pp. 88-90.
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16. NASA, “SP-424 The Voyage of Mariner 10,” [Online]. Available: http://history.nasa.gov/SP-424/ch1.htm.
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19. J. Farchakh, “History lost in dust of war-torn Iraq,” BBC, [Online]. Available: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/4461755.stm.

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